JUDGING by the queues most lunchtimes, the addition of Costa Coffee to the expanded Mall 18 months ago was a good call.
At peak time, there was still a good selection of sandwiches, wraps and paninis and we chose the chicken and bacon club and a goat’s cheese and onion chutney panini.
The club’s wrapper had disguised the three slices of bread, so it was a hearty eat.
But the chicken and bacon were lacking in flavour, with only real taste coming from the melted cheese.
Goat’s cheese and chutney are a real favourite for me, so my choice was an easy one, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The sharp, sweet chutney balanced the creamy cheese and the ciabatta was crisp and fresh.
By the time we were settled at our table, the toasted sandwiches were brought to us ready to eat.
We also treated ourselves to a Belgian chocolate brownie and a granola bar.
The chocolate was crisp and gooey at the same time, although the white chocolate pieces were a little lost.
The granola bar was packed with chunks of nuts and large, juicy dried fruits.
We also had a skinny latte and a skinny mocha.
‘Medio’ proved a good choice for the drinks.
The mocha was pretty big and I could never have finished a large. They were both hot and strong enough to help keep us awake for the afternoon.
It’s hard to define the atmosphere of Costa but there’s certainly a vibrant, bright feel to the atrium area.
At £16.60 — working out at £8.30 per person — it’s certainly not a cheap butty and drink.